02 SES 16 B, Who Is Included? Who Gets Excluded? And Why? An International Comparison of Dropout In VET Programmes for Disadvantaged Youths
The aim of the present paper is two-fold. First of all, the intention is to show how young people within vocational education in Denmark view the process of dropping-out of education. Accordingly, the paper illustrates how drop-out is seen by students as mainly and respectively 1) an act resulting from lack of individual initiative and presence and 2) as something created in educational institutions in various situations, for example when teachers spend more time and resources on the well-off, quick and clever students or when there are a lack of trainee places. Secondly, a more general viewpoint in the paper is that drop-out can be seen as a potential creative resource for educational institutions concerned with learning and change. While the view of drop-out as resulting from the lack of individual initiative seems to underline a dominant individualized discourse about drop-out at the colleges studied, the idea of drop-out as something created and as a creative potential point towards a more collective and systems-oriented approach to the understanding of and eventual prevention of drop-out among students. The empirical basis of the paper consists of 106 interviews with students in eight different vocational educational basis courses in Denmark. The study seeks to understand the rationale for dropping out of education when viewed from the perspective of students. Theoretically, the paper combines theories of creativity with insights from the literature on student drop-out in education more generally.
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